The belly to back front flip transition, the first real “flip” that you will learn and the first transition that travels “over your head”. Still a basic move and using the airflow to complete the move successfully will be the key, this maneuver will give you the first glimpse in to some slight disorientation which is something you wil be come ultimately comfortable with as you progress as a wind tunnel free flyer.
Before you begin to learn transitions between orientations you should be comfortable and balanced in each of the orientations. To learn to this transition you should be stable and aware in both belly-flying and back-flying orientations. Flying this particular maneuver requires a slightly different body position than traditional back-flying. It requires you to fly with your hips arched and shoulders rolled forward. Doing some exercises to develop this body position are beneficial.
o You should aim to fly this transition with as much control as possible.
o Try to imagine an arc of momentum to give you the time necessary to fly through the transition.
o Begin and end the technique on the same level.
o Try to avoid the natural tendency of putting your chin down in the beginning of the technique, as this will create uncontrolled forward drive.
o Use the action of very slightly de-arching your chest and adding pressure to your palms and arms to create lift, not your hips.
o As you become more comfortable you can experiment with the shape of the layout.
With this transition you want to imagine an arc of momentum. Knowing how to use this momentum will give you the time necessary to develop the correct body position. You should set up in the center of the tunnel at roughly hip height of the instructor and aim to finish at the same level.
Technique and Drills
o Start the technique on your belly with your feet close to the tunnel walls. Spread your arms wide and begin to create lift by making your body flat. Straighten your legs to create the rotation.
o Keep your chin up and look down through the center of the cable floor as you pass over the vertical part of the transition. Putting your chin down will drive you blind at the tunnel wall.
o As you pass on to your back, use your hips and legs to stop the energy and assume a neutral back-fly position.
Post-flight questions / suggestions
· Were you able to remain stable as you moved between orientations?
· Did you start and finish the maneuver on the same level?
· Were you able to avoid creating uncontrollable forward drive?
· Did you keep your chin up and allow the correct body position to create the front flip?
At this point in your progression, you should be comfortable flying the back-to-belly front flip and now the belly-to-back front flip maneuvers. Now, you can begin to link these skills together in order to complete full layout moves.
What skill level is next?
Back to Belly Back Flip
A more advance transition that requires a comfort level that is higher than the front flip from your belly to your back. Due to it’s nature to want to drive as you transition, ensuring that you are prepared for this skill will be important. This skill although not a high rotation maneuver will be a key ingredient for your “trick” flying and is an important step for the dynamic progression.